Haiti beat Saint Lucia in Nations League football

By Terry Finisterre

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(SNO) – One wonders what might have happened had Saint Lucia been able to supply a home venue – and a boisterous partisan crowd – for week 2 of the Concacaf Nations League.

In the event, with Saint Lucia’s two FIFA-certified stadia unavailable, the national men’s team’s ‘home’ game against Haiti was played in front of a largely pro-Haitian crowd at the Stade Pierre Aliker in Fort de France, Martinique.

The first half was also played under a deluge that left the pitch soaked, and Saint Lucia made three changes from the team that beat Antigua and Barbuda in the opening matchday several weeks ago in St John’s. In goal was 19-year old Vino Barclett, whilst Lester Joseph, Alvinus Myers, and Melanius Mullarkey were in the starting outfield, with captain Zaine Pierre, Kurt Frederick, Pernal Williams, Otev Lawrence, Andrus Remy, Malik St Prix, and Melvin Doxilly.

Initially, Saint Lucia was able to stave off the tempered Haitians, several of whom play in the United States. But an unmarked Soni Mustivar was the beneficiary in the 13th minute, as Derrick Etienne of the New York Red Bulls cut it back for his 28-year-old teammate, who plays with Neftchi Baku in the Azerbaijan Premier League. 20 minutes later, Cibao FC (Liga Dominicana de Fútbol) winger Charles Hérold Jr doubled the advantage, thanks to an assist from New England Revolution midfielder, Zachary Heriveux. It looked as if the deluge above might be matched by one on the pitch.

Haiti, after all, had once served Saint Lucia a 7-1 thrashing, one of the national team’s worst defeats ever.

But after the second goal, Saint Lucia began to assert themselves. Pernal Williams, in particular, translated his typically passionate approach to the game and channelled it into functioning as the point of the Saint Lucian attack. The 27-year-old, one of the veterans on the Saint Lucian team, would naturally feel at home in Martinique, where he plays for one of the top teams in the French overseas department, L’Aiglon du Lamentin.

It came as little surprise, therefore, that Pernal should curl a sweetly weighted left-footed inswinger into the top right corner of the Haitian goal. The shot was impossible for the Haitian custodian to decipher, and Saint Lucia had halved the deficit with two minutes to go to the half. Despite having taken just two shots (to 10 for Haiti) and just one on goal, Saint Lucia had the momentum going into the half.

That translated in the second period in terms of effort and application, but not so much as far as creativity and guile were concerned. Saint Lucia had much more of the ball in the second than they did in the first, but played mainly long balls into the attacking third. More often than not, when the ball did find a Saint Lucian attacker, the result was a rushed shot, rather than finding a teammate with perhaps a better angle. Two half-decent opportunities went abegging as Saint Lucia chased the game.

Still, all in all, Saint Lucia can hold their heads high after this fixture. They gave one of the top teams in the Caribbean a tough run, and had them guessing and holding on for the whistle. This, despite the challenges posed by a local furore over selection policies, the lack of international or even major-league experience to draw on, and of course the fact that this ‘home’ game ended up being played on neutral ground.

Saint Lucia’s Gold Cup dreams are nowhere near dead, yet. The national team plays the Cayman Islands in November, in what ought to be an eminently winnable fixture.

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9 comments

  1. What was the score? I read the article and struggled to find out the score. I checked the FIFA website and still, the score wasn't listed on there. I had to do a search to find out the score. St Lucia did well according to what I read in this article and can hold their heads up high. A win would have been even better as they lost by one goal to the second Caribbean country to play in a World Cup.

    Haiti 2 St Lucia 1 is not a bad score considering they played in Martinique.
    It's a crying shame to see that there isn't a stadium fit enough to host an international game. What is the St Lucia FA doing? These people who run the FA are unfit to run football in St Lucia. They should all be sacked. It's been 3 years since that debacle in Antigua where both the away and home games had to be played in Antigua against Antigua. They have had enough time to fix the stadiums in St Lucia. They could have played this game at the Phillip Marcellin Stadium in Vieux Fort Or the Soufriere Stadium. Why Martinique?

    Shame on the St Lucia FA. We need to get rid of these fools who do not have the interest of the country's football at heart. You need to look after the national team. Perhaps things could have been different had the game been played in St Lucia. The FA needs to wake up and smell the cocoa tea before it's too late. For St Lucia to become a force to be reckoned with, the current crop running the FA should all be replaced. Get people who know about football to take the national team places. Get Rid of the Current FA. They are unfit to run the St Lucia FA.
    Can someone tell me where does the National team go from there? Was this a World Cup Qualifier? And please Mr. football writer please state the score before you rumble on, otherwise a good article.

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    • The FA own stadia? The game could not be played at any of the venues you mentioned, as they are not FIFA certified.

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      • Why aren't these stadiums FIFA certified? Why play your home game in another territory? St Lucia is a sovereign state and should act as such. The Indolent FA has had 3 years to get a stadium sorted out. Why haven't they done something to rectify the problem? The guys running the FA are unfit to run this organization. All they do is sit on their lazy and fat behinds and do nothing all day. They should be replaced.
        That game should have been played in St Lucia. It was a home game. St Lucia would have had plenty of support at home and the score could have been different.

        In the name of st Lucian football, I am calling on the indolent FA to please GO. With these people in charged St Lucian football will get nowhere. Just Go FA. GO Now!

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  2. watchman on the wall

    No excuses, a loss is a loss, you don't go to war an leave your best soldiers back home....Lol. Caymans will destroys if we don't bring out our A-game. Not because the Haitians play for big clubs that we should cower or become fearful of them, they can be beaten, home/neutral grounds period!

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    • Don't be such a pessimist. St Lucia can beat and will beat the Cayman Islands. I just wished it was the BVI instead. Haitians play for big clubs and so does St Lucians. There are a number of players plying their trade in Europe who hails from St Lucia. Players like Janoi Donacien, from Choiseul, who plays for Ipswich, David Aaron Henry From Canaries, Zane Pierre plus lots of other St Lucian players that I cannot think of right now. I read somewhere that Henry who comes from Canaries alluded to the fact that the St Lucia FA does not want him to play for St Lucia.

      Can someone from the FA please explain why they do not want David Aaron Henry to play for his country? If this is the case then the FA ought to be ashamed of themselves for not allowing this young man to represent his country at the highest level. Can someone from the FA please answer my question above? I would like to see St Lucia go all the way and to win the remaining games. I want to see St Lucia in A World Cup one day. Good Luck St Lucia. Go on and win!

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      • David Aaron Henry does not play in Europe. I don't think he has been very prolific for Canaries.

        Janoi has not accepted a call up to the national team - he presently has a problem getting a work permit to play in the UK.

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        • David Henry is a talented young player who should be playing for the National team. How do you know where he plays his football? I read where he said that the St Lucia FA does not want him in the team. If this is the case then I think the FA ought to be ashamed of themselves for NOT allowing this talented young man to be featured in the national set-up. He played well for Canaries and should be able to fit into the international set-up.

          As for Janoi Donacien, his work permit has been approved and he is playing for the Tractor Boys - Ipswich. I know him and his family personally as they are from Choiseul. I hope he gets a call-up soon to play for his country.
          I am wondering whether you are from the indolent St Lucian FA. If you are please tell us why isn't David Henry not allowed to play for his country of St Lucia?

          You come across as an apologist. Stop being an apologist and deal with the reality. Both David and Janoi should be playing for their country.

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  3. Great effort team. Let's win the next game.
    100 German.

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  4. Let Haiti keep on beating us. Rumours have it that they have also whooped us in the Magic League, the Witchcraft League & the Obeah League. We concede. Let them carry these cans.

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